ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Travel to the Island of Socotra\Yemen

Updated on December 6, 2014

Explore the Island of Socotra:

Socotra (The Island of the Dragon's Blood Tree) is an amazing and unique island in the Indian Ocean South of Yemen. This rare island contains many rare plants, trees, insects, reptiles, birds and animals; many of the creatures in the island of Socotra cannot be found anywhere on earth except Socotra!

The island has become an interesting destination for its calm beaches, amazing landscapes, unique lifestyle, and the rare plants and animals.

Island of Socotra\Yemen

Getting Here

By plane:

The only and easy way to get to the island of Socotra is via its airport after one or two stops in the main land of Yemen. There are two local airlines provide flights from Sana'a – the capital of Yemen – and Mukalla – the capital of Hadhramout province – as well as Aden – the economic capital of Yemen, those airlines are Yemenia and Felix airways. Moreover, the Felix airways provides a direct line from Sharja in the United Arab Emirates with a transit in Mukalla airport – which also known as Rayan airport.

There is no regular or official way to sail to the island of Socotra, however, some locals use fishing boats to reach the island, but this 30 hours of sailing is not recommended for tourists.

Tickets cost from one of Yemen's airports is somehow between $80 and may raise to $150 for one way only, the prices depend on time and session of booking.

A beach in Qalansaya\Socotra


A four wheel drive car and a tent in a beach-Socotra


Get around:

Socotra is not just one island; it is an archipelago of four islands, Samha, Darsa, And Al Kory and the biggest one Socotra. Socotra is the main island and the capital of the archipelago which became an independence province in 2014.

Most attractions are in the Island of Socotra, a four wheel drive car is the popular vehicle for getting around. Hiking is also an option for adventure lovers, but rarely and hard.

The four wheel car can be rented with its driver as well as a guide from one of the many travel and tourism companies, the car costs around $100-$150\day without the guide who costs around $50\day.

There are no taxis or buses in the island, therefore, renting a car cannot be avoiding unless you are ready for hiking and stop locals in the street!

Discovering the island



Travel and tourism companies provide trips ranging from three days to ten days or more if a client request. The ideal time to be spent in the island is between four days to a week. Trips are ranging from camping in natural reserves, swimming and fishing, hiking and discovering.

A beach in Ras Shuab-Qalansaya


Detwah natrural reserve


Things to do:


Beaches of Socotra are amazing, they are calm and clear, and you can relax in its soft sand or swim in the warm water. The most famous beaches that are perfect for swimming and diving are Detwah, De Hamry and Ras Shuab.

The beach of Detwah is located in Detwah natural reserve in Qalansaya city – the second largest city in the island after Hadibu, which is about two hours away from Hadibu. Detwah natural reserve is a small lake as well as a very calm and soft beach, some rare trees and birds are also around the place.

There is a camp in the natural reserve, it provides tents and meals on demand for reasonable prices, bath rooms and clean water are also available at the camp.

In the middle between Hadibu and Qalansaya there is De Hamry natural reserve, the sand of De Hamry beach is not as soft as Detwah, otherwise it is a rich beach of fishes and coral reefs that make it a perfect beach for diving. The camp at the natural reserve provides dive tools, food and water and bathing at good prices, visitors can also hire a skilled diver for extra money.

Ras Shuab in the far west point of the island is one of the popular beaches; it is famous for its dolphins that you can swim with them! Visitors can have a cruise from the beach of Qalansaya to Ras Shuab for about $80 using a fishing boat. Dolphins herd can be seen all over the way swimming beside the boat. Fishing in this long beach – between Qalansaya and Ras Shuab – is also preferred for many visitors, the beach is rich in many types of fishes that making it a perfect fishing site and a great environment for sea birds that can been seen all over the beach.


There are too many valleys, hills and mountains, forests and caves spread over the island of Socotra, which all provide a wonderful environment for hiking.

The highlands of Dexam are the most famous mountains in the island, it is just a few kilometers away from Hadibu; it is famous for its forests of Dragon's Blood Tree which is the most famous tree in the island. Dexam highlands are a way to the highest summit in the island which known as Scand Mountain, and also a way to Drehar valley, the rich valley which is famous for its pool and palm trees.

Dexam highlands is amazing, there you can enjoy an unforgettable hiking between the Dragon's Blood Trees, palm trees and clouds!

The natural reserve of Frankincense trees in the east highlands of Socotra is another good place for hiking. There you can visit the forest of Frankincense trees and landscapes of the green pastures and traditional villages.

At the end of the Frankincense trees natural reserve there is a small pool overlooks the Arabian Sea and the Hala village where Hoq cave is located. It is long journey from the pool to Hoq cave where you should walk down from the mountain passing an amazing forest of very rare trees, and then walk up to the cave in the front other mountain.

Hoq Cave is one of the most famous caves in Socotra – beside other many caves spread over the island; it is located in Hala village east of the island. Visitors hike to the cave directly from the village or from the natural reserve of Frankincense trees – rarely. The journey from the valley to the cave takes more than one hour.

Socotra highlands


Dexam Mountains


A valley near Hadibu


Hoq Cave


Things to see:

The island of Socotra is one of the most rare and unique areas in the world; famous in rare plants and animals and wonderful landscapes. The following table gives an idea about the rich environment of Socotra.

Arthropods and molluscs
825 species of thriving plants; 37% of these plants are settlement and has no instance in the world.
221 types of birds, which are important globally.
30 types of reptiles in Socotra; 27 of them cannot be found anywhere except Socotra.
50 known types of arthropods and molluscs and 5 habitation types of Thericleidae. There are also three types of marine cancers, in addition to a very big spider (human Palm-size) known as the monocentropus balfouri.
14 types of mammals in the island of Socotra such as camels, cattle, zebras, wildcats, goats, sheep and civet cat which known as “Al-zepad”.

And here are some of the most popular animals and plants that can be seen in the island:

Egyptian Vulture


Egyptian Vulture:

The most famous bird in the island which is widely spread over the island. Egyptian Vultures roost communally on large trees, buildings or on cliffs. Roost sites are usually chosen close to a dump site or other suitable foraging area.

Green pasture


Goats and sheep

Goats and sheep are the most common of all the mammals in the island. You can almost see them everywhere! Especially in the highlands, where the beautiful pastures, which thrive in the period between September and August each year.




Gulls or seagulls are some of the most seabirds that can be seen in the island of Socotra. Most gull species are migratory, with birds moving to warmer habitats during the winter; and they come to Socotra thanks to the warm climate of the island.


Flamingo has a long beak and legs, feeds on small crustaceans, shellfish and small mollusks and algae in the lakes and beaches of Socotra.



Frankincense Tree


Frankincense Tree

Frankincense is a substance which is obtained from a tree and which smells pleasant when it is burned. It is used especially in religious ceremonies.

The Dragon’s Blood Tree


The Dragon’s Blood Tree

The most famous tree on the island of Socotra is the dragon blood tree, or the brother’s blood tree. It is a rare tree looks like an umbrella.

People of Socotra have been using the resin of this tree for treatment, and paint utensils made ​​of clay, gluing pottery, a breath freshener, lipstick and finally in ritual magic. The root is used in rheumatism, as a stimulant, astringent and in toothpaste, as well.

More popular things to see:

Green turtles: In Qalansaya beach.

Dolphins: In Ras Shouab beach.


The Socotry Shag.


Rough-legged Buzzard.

The Starlings.

The Sunbird.

House Crow.

Civet cat.

Highlights information

Indian Ocean
12°30′36″N 53°55′12″E
Socotra islands
Total islands
50 km (31 mi)
132 km (82 mi)

For more details about Socotra read my book Socotra; Story of the enchanted island!

Or watch my travel film Socotra; the island of Dragon's Blood Tree from the link below:

You can also email\contact me for more help or tours to the island, to do so please visit my website


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)